“Not Phil” and A Few Finds

Some time ago I helped out a fellow picker named Phil. We had gotten to know each other while waiting in line at a monthly charity rummage sale. One rainy sale day he had amassed bags and bags of stuff which he was going to try and carry on his bike to a destination eight miles away. I had offered to take the stuff for him and we agreed to meet later at his storage unit. It all went fine and I was glad to help out.

Since that time I have see him from time to time at thrift stores and we always greet one another. Except for the other day.

First you should know that Phil is fairly unmistakeable. He is a string bean of a guy with long, matted gray hair (not dreadlocks, just unkempt) and a matching scruffy beard…rather like an Old Testament prophet who’s fallen on hard times. Not a typical look in Silicon Valley. When I saw him at Goodwill the other day I said “Hi Phil.” Barely glancing at me he said, “My name’s not Phil” and scurried past. To be honest he looked scared.

I was rather surprised but then I remembered from our previous conversations that his grip on reality had seemed a bit loosey goosey. And it was strange because “Phil” is the name he gave me a couple of years ago. Oh well. Truth be told my memory’s not as tickety boo as it used to be either. And though I always know my own name I’ve often wished it was something more exotic. Karen is so staid. So plain. Perhaps Phil was trying out being “Nigel” or “Adam” this week. Maybe I should try out Anastasia!

Alas my quick visit to the thrift store wasn’t a success. I spotted another bag of nativity pieces, but several were broken, including a king which had been decapitated. So sad. Almost bought the bag just for the baby Jesus, but didn’t think he would look right with my current set. And I almost bought a colorful woven throw that had a tag from a Vietnamese maker but decided against it at the last minute as blankets are slow sellers for me. If the tag had been for Pendleton it would have been gold.

A Few Bits of Jewelry

In the end all I bought was a bit of jewelry. I don’t usually find much jewelry worth buying at Goodwill. Most in the locked cabinet is newer, cheaply made junk. But I did find a folk art pin handmade of thin metal. Could be sterling silver as it’s tarnished, but I’m guessing it’s more likely aluminum and a piece from a developing country. Not valuable, but still it’s a fun, quirky pin that I’m hoping somebody will like.


Also bought a few 12″ strands of small stone beads, likely carnelian and jasper. These are not finished pieces, but strung on nylon and intended for jewelry makers. I’m going to set these aside till I find more strands to make a nice lot.


Sometimes I Buy for Myself!

Every now and then while researching items I find things I love. Most I admire from afar. I appreciate their beauty or uniqueness but feel no need to own them. But when this 1800s chip-carved wood document box went on sale at another Etsy shop I thought, “It’s time to give this box a new home.”


It’s not pristine and shows decades (and decades of usage) but that’s what I like about it. It has an honest wear. And I won’t feel reticent to use it myself because it’s not “precious.”

I’m not too fond of things that can’t be used or aren’t used because they are “too precious.” It took my mom years to get her good china. The pieces were given to her bit by bit for her birthday, anniversary and Christmas. And then it was only brought out and used maybe six times a year…at most! When it wasn’t in use it was tucked away in padded cases. Even as a kid that seemed a curious thing to me.

Anyway this box will be used! I plan on corralling my business receipts in it.


I’ll close for now. For those who celebrated Thanksgiving I hope it was wonderful.

As always, happy hunting,

Karen (aka Anastasia)

1 Comment

  1. happy thanksgiving anastasia!

    Liked by 1 person

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